At Green Needham’s November 29th “Toward Zero Waste” event, Greg Smith (Needham’s Superintendent of Recycling and Solid Waste) presented his list of Needham’s top 10 recycling challenges:
- Keep plastic wrap and plastic bags out of the recycling containers.
- Keep trash out of the recycling containers.
- Ensure that all containers put in the recycling containers are rinsed out and clean.
- Educate residents about placing corrugated cardboard in the corrugated cardboard recycling bin, not the mixed paper recycling containers. (Paperboard, such as boxes for cereal, pasta, toiletries, etc., does go into the mixed paper recycling containers.) See details about what the RTS takes.
- Educate residents about where to dispose of bulky rigid plastics.
- Make residents aware of good recycling practices.
- Increasing Needham’s recycling rates.
- Not enough staff to adequately fulfill all requirements at the RTS, given the level of service provided.
- Keeping the organics (composting) area free of non-organic matter.
- The RTS is a large facility, but has very limited space to expand services.
The biggest themes in Greg’s top 10 list are contamination reduction and community education about proper recycling practices. Remember, the “cleaner” our recyclables and organic material, and the higher the ratio of recyclables to trash, the better the “bottom line” is for Needham’s RTS!
Green Needham is seeking additional volunteers to build out our Zero Waste team as we work with Greg to improve recycling in Needham. If you are interested – or just want to learn more – please reach out to Jay Delaune, Green Needham’s team leader for Zero Waste.